BaleHaus – Developing environmentally friendly homes using straw bale
The environmental impact of the construction industry is huge. The worldwide manufacture of cement contributes up to 10% of all industrial carbon dioxide emissions.
Straw offers the perfect material for environmentally friendly construction due to its renewable nature. As a by-product of farming, straw can be grown locally, helping the local economy.
Homes constructed of straw bale are heavily insulated and require almost no conventional heating, minimising environmental impact and reducing energy cost.
More about BaleHaus
Testing the technology
A two-storey BaleHaus was constructed on campus using ‘ModCell’ – a system that utilises straw bale to form prefabricated panels.
The team has carried out rigorous tests on the building including applying a wind load of around 4 tonnes and over 100dB of white noise.
Over 200 environmentally friendly homes have already been built, with plans for a local school in the near future.
Helping a local business succeed
ModCell Ltd manufactures the prefabricated straw bale panels used in the construction of BaleHaus. Since the project began, the company has witnessed an increase in sales of around 2500%.
The University has recently embarked on new project, funded by the European Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), to focus on the long-term performance and durability of using straw bale in construction.